ALBUM REVIEW: Neneh Cherry Is as Sharp as Ever on ‘Broken Politics’

With none other than Four Tet behind the boards.

Almost 30 years removed from her 1989 debut, Raw Like Sushi, Neneh Cherry proves that she’s still one of the sharpest voices out there. With none other than Four Tet behind the boards, Cherry’s gorgeous voice is given a sonic backdrop that complements her every move on new album Broken Politics.

On Broken Politics, Cherry often deals with heavy issues, such as refugees and guns, but her ability to treat these topics with poignancy is just marvelous.

On “Kong,” a simple piano line and bottomed out drums pairs with powerful protests of imperialism and war. “Synchronized Devotion” is just Cherry, a piano and tinkling wood percussion, pausing from her stream of consciousness lyrics only to assert that “my name is Neneh.” “Fallen Leaves” is beautiful, with some of Four Tet’s best instrumentation, as harps and pianos float over a breakbeat. Cherry’s vocals here are resilient and unrelenting.

“Natural Skin Deep” juxtaposes the often minimal instrumentation of the album with warping synths and imposing marimbas, suddenly digressing into a jazz trance before diving back into the fray, as Cherry maintains the high energy with a passionate vocal performance.

With the help of Four Tet, Neneh Cherry has made one of her finest records in years; an album that radiates warmth, understanding and wisdom.